Published January 28, 2013
A new study in the journal Nature Neuroscience suggests that changes in the brain, which naturally occur over time, may interfere with sleep quality. This, in turn, inhibits the brain’s ability to store long-term memories, the New York Times reported.
Previous research found that the part of the brain behind the forehead – the prefrontal cortex – may lose volume as you age. This part of the brain aids in sleep quality, which is crucial for blending new memories together.
The research, conducted by the University of California, Berkeley, may answer the age-old question of why you lose memory as you age.
According to researchers, if you want to improve your memory decline as you age, you need to get a better night’s sleep. Sleep occurs in cycles, and the ‘slow-wave’ phase, which takes up about one-fourth of a full night’s sleep, is most crucial, according to the study.
In order to improve the ‘slow-wave’ phase, some researchers are experimenting with electrical stimulation in older adults, and they are finding in some studies, their memories improves.
Another way to improve your sleep? Exercise, according to experts.